Category Archives: ABSOLUTES

Dunning-Kruger Effect

​The Dunning-Kruger Effect named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. 

This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyze their performance, leading to a significant overestimation of themselves. In simple words it’s “people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are”.

The inverse also applies: competent people tend to underestimate their ability compared to others; this is known as impostor syndrome. The principle is illustrated indirectly by the common saying that “I’ve learned enough about ________ to know what I don’t know.” The implication is that someone who hasn’t learned much about the subject would have no appreciation for how much there is to learn about it, and so might grossly overestimate their level of understanding.

If you have no doubts whatsoever about your competence, you could just be that damn good. On the other hand…

The Four Agreements

The following is a summary of “The Four Agreements” based on the writings of don Miguel Ruiz.

1. Be Impeccable with Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own thoughts and emotions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. 

4. Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Law of the Vital Few

The Law of the Vital Few, initially referred to as Pareto’s Law is named after the economist that made the observation. It states that 80% of effects of results come from 20% of the causes. This percentage breakdown is why the 80/20 Principle is aptly referred to as the Law of the Vital Few.

Real life examples of this law in place include, 20% of the total players on a soccer team score 80% of the winning goals, 80% of product development comes from 20% of the workforce , or on a more personal level, 80% of progress with self-improvement in any area of your life comes from 20% of your efforts.

Therefore, in order to maximize efficiency, it’s important to invest your resources in the top 20% causes that bring results. This requires knowing  what you want or what is needed. Hence, analysis and introspection is necessary.

The Law of the Vital Few is not absolute; but the bottom line is this- a small portion of the causes gives the majority of the effects.

Zen Rules

Soyen Shaku (January 10, 1860 – October 29, 1919) is noted as the first Zen Buddhist priest to come to the United States. Shaku followed a list of rules that he set for himself and lived by each day, until his passing at the age of 59.

1. In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.

2. Retire at a regular hour.

3. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction.

4. Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.

5. Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.

6. When an opportunity comes do not let it pass you by, yet always think twice before acting.

7. Do not regret the past. Look to the future.

8. Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.

9. Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep

10. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes